Industry News

The Groundwork for Change

Image:Mercedes Benz Trucks

Let’s see what happens next week in the federal budget because, while there’s speculation around higher incomes for households, the trucking industry is looking for the government to start the groundwork for change, preparing for the transition across to zero emission road transport.

As many operators around the country start to make plans and examine options to make the move to zero, this is because they know the change is coming and are being told by their customers of the need to demonstrate that intention.

The investment costs for the industry are going to be massive over the coming decades, if we are to make the targets set for carbon emissions between now and 2050. This cost is hanging over an industry where the average return on capital across operations is probably south of five per cent. If the government wants the change to happen, they will have to put more money where their mouth is.

Warren Clark,NatRoad CEO has called for the establishment of a $3.5 billion Clean Transport Fund to help our industry tackle decarbonisation and the transition to alternative approaches to heavy vehicles. Plus, he has called for a National Service Level Standards Framework, pushing up infrastructure spending, and mitigating any increase road user and registration charges.

The other issue which comes with the new technology, needed to meet the emissions targets, is the unavoidable extra weight which it adds to vehicles, reducing payloads and route access. There needs to be action now to ensure current freight levels can be maintained into the future, and that transport operators aren’t forced off some of the current road infrastructure they are using, because they are utilising zero emission vehicles.

This is going to be a complex issue, and one which we need to start working on now. The different levels of government are under funded and at loggerheads about both funding and how access needs to be controlled. Some rationality and extra funding in the budget would go a long way on this topic.

Again, NatRoad has called for, “the opening up as-of-right access, and having access maps accessible online, would remove frustrations for operators, boost road freight efficiency and take costs out of the supply chain for consumers.”

The window of opportunity is now open for the government to push through well thought out changes to make the zero carbon emission future possible, avoiding major disruption choking off the supply chain because of inadequate preparation for the changes required.

 

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The Groundwork for Change appeared first on Power Torque.

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